Pizza Stuffed Peppers
Aug 31, 2023, Updated Sep 17, 2023
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Easy, cheesy pizza stuffed peppers are a low-carb indulgence packed with pizza flavor, without the crust!
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Keto Bell Pepper Pizzas
If you’re following a keto or low-carb lifestyle and still crave the flavors of pizza, look no further than Keto Bell Pepper Pizzas!
This creative and satisfying recipe transforms bell peppers into mini pizza boats, offering all the mouthwatering pizza flavors without the guilt of traditional crust. It’s a fantastic way to indulge in your favorite comfort food while staying true to your dietary goals.
Keto Bell Pepper Pizzas reimagine the classic pizza experience by using bell peppers as a flavorful and nutrient-rich base. These “pizza boats” provide a canvas for your favorite pizza toppings and a generous layer of gooey melted cheese. The result is a delightful and visually appealing dish that captures the essence of pizza while keeping your carb intake in check.
How to Make Pizza Stuffed Bell Peppers
To make this recipe, you will need the following ingredients:
- Ground Beef: Ground beef serves as a savory and protein-rich topping for the pizzas. It adds a hearty and satisfying element to the dish while contributing a meaty flavor that pairs well with the other ingredients.
- Bell Peppers: The bell peppers act as both the edible “crust” and a vibrant vessel for the pizza toppings. They bring a sweet and slightly crunchy texture to each bite while providing a low-carb base that aligns with dietary preferences.
- Minced Garlic: Minced garlic infuses the dish with aromatic and savory flavors, enhancing the overall taste profile of the pizzas.
- Italian Herbs: A blend of Italian herbs, such as oregano, basil, and thyme, adds depth and a distinct Mediterranean aroma to the pizzas. These herbs contribute to the traditional pizza flavor we all love.
- Sliced Olives: Sliced olives offer a briny and slightly salty element that balances the flavors. They bring a unique texture and a burst of earthy richness to the dish.
- Pepperoni Slices: Pepperoni slices are a classic pizza topping that delivers a bold and slightly spicy flavor. They contribute a delightful meaty and zesty component to the pizzas.
- Diced Tomatoes: Diced tomatoes add a juicy and refreshing touch to the pizzas. They bring a burst of natural sweetness and a pleasant contrast to the other toppings.
- Marinara Sauce: Marinara sauce serves as the pizza’s tomato base, infusing the dish with a rich and tangy flavor. It ties the ingredients together and provides that quintessential pizza sauce taste.
- Shredded Mozzarella: Shredded mozzarella cheese is a quintessential pizza topping that becomes gooey and melty when baked. It blankets the pizzas with a creamy, cheesy layer that’s both comforting and flavorful.
Once you’ve gathered your ingredients, we will use this method:
- Prep. Preheat the oven and prepare the bell peppers by halving them lengthwise and removing the seeds and membranes.
- Brown ground beef in pan, crumbling as it cooks. Add diced tomatoes to pan after meat is browned, stirring to mix.
- Pour marinara sauce along bottom of casserole dish. Lay the bell pepper halves in casserole dish, cut side up.
- Spread a thin layer of pizza sauce inside each pepper half, leaving a bit of space around the edges.
- Sprinkle shredded cheese over the sauce, ensuring each pepper is generously topped.
- Add your desired keto toppings over the cheese layer.
- Season with Italian seasoning, garlic powder, and a touch of red pepper flakes.
- Bake the pepper pizzas in the preheated oven until the cheese is melted and bubbly, and the peppers are tender.
- Once out of the oven, let them cool slightly before garnishing with fresh basil leaves.
Tips and Tricks for Perfect Pizza Stuffed Bell Peppers
Choose the Right Bell Peppers: Select bell peppers that are firm, fresh, and evenly shaped. Look for peppers with flat bottoms to ensure they stand upright during baking.
Precook the Bell Peppers: To soften the bell peppers and ensure they cook evenly, consider blanching them in boiling water for a couple of minutes before stuffing and baking. This step can also reduce baking time.
Use Lean Ground Meat: Opt for lean ground meat, such as lean ground beef or turkey, to minimize excess grease in the final dish.
Season the Meat Mixture Well: Season the ground meat mixture with minced garlic, Italian herbs, and any additional preferred seasonings. This adds flavor and depth to the filling.
Mix in Pizza Sauce: Incorporate marinara sauce or pizza sauce into the ground meat mixture. This helps infuse the meat with pizza flavors and ensures a moist filling.
Partially Cook the Filling: Sauté the ground meat mixture with garlic and seasonings until partially cooked before stuffing the peppers. This short cooking time helps blend the flavors and ensures the filling cooks through in the oven.
Layer Toppings Strategically: Layer toppings such as sliced olives, pepperoni, and diced tomatoes over the meat mixture for even distribution and optimal flavor in every bite.
Use High-Quality Cheese: Opt for high-quality shredded mozzarella cheese for the best melting and gooey texture. Feel free to add a sprinkle of grated Parmesan or other favorite cheeses for extra flavor.
Control Cheese Melting: To prevent the cheese from overbaking or browning too quickly, consider covering the stuffed peppers with aluminum foil for the first part of the baking time and then removing it toward the end.
10. Garnish After Baking: Add a final touch of fresh basil leaves or other desired herbs after the peppers come out of the oven. This adds a burst of color and aroma.
Experiment with Keto Variations: Feel free to customize the recipe to suit your keto preferences. You can use cauliflower rice as part of the filling or incorporate other low-carb ingredients.
Monitor Baking Time: Bake the stuffed peppers until the peppers are tender and the cheese is melted and bubbly. Keep a close eye on them to avoid overcooking.
Let Them Rest: Allow the stuffed peppers to cool for a few minutes before serving. This helps the flavors meld together, and they’ll be easier to handle.
Absolutely! You can use ground turkey, ground chicken, or even plant-based meat alternatives to suit your preferences or dietary restrictions.
Baking the peppers in marinara sauce helps the peppers from getting too soft. Additionally, keep an eye on the baking time to avoid overcooking the peppers.
You can prepare the stuffing mixture in advance and store it in the refrigerator. However, it’s recommended to assemble and bake the stuffed peppers just before serving for the best texture and flavor.
While bell peppers can be frozen, their texture might change upon thawing. Freezing the cooked stuffed peppers is a better option. Wrap them tightly in plastic wrap and aluminum foil before freezing. Thaw in the refrigerator and reheat in the oven.
You can use homemade or store-bought pizza sauce, tomato sauce, or any other tomato-based sauce of your choice.
Absolutely! Simply omit the ground meat and increase the amount of veggies or incorporate plant-based protein sources like tofu, tempeh, or legumes.
Certainly! Bell peppers, onions, mushrooms, and spinach are popular additions that can enhance both flavor and nutrition.
To prevent the cheese from sticking to the foil, you can lightly grease the underside of the foil with a cooking spray or a bit of oil before covering the peppers.
Yes, you can experiment with different cheeses like cheddar, Monterey Jack, or provolone for unique flavors.
Absolutely! Mini bell peppers can be a fun and bite-sized option for appetizers or party snacks.
Store leftover baked pizza bell peppers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days.
Yes, you can reheat leftovers in the microwave until warmed through. Alternatively, reheating in the oven or toaster oven can help maintain the texture.
If you enjoy some heat, you can add red pepper flakes or diced jalapenos to the filling for a spicy kick.
What to Serve With Pizza Stuffed Bell Peppers
Side Salad: A fresh and crisp side salad with mixed greens, cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, and a light vinaigrette can provide a refreshing contrast to the hearty stuffed peppers.
Garlic Bread: Classic garlic bread or garlic knots are a natural pairing with pizza flavors. Their buttery, garlicky goodness complements the savory stuffed peppers.
Veggie Platter: Serve a platter of raw vegetables like carrots, celery, bell peppers, and cherry tomatoes with a creamy dip for a colorful and healthy side option.
Roasted Veggies: Roasted vegetables, such as zucchini, eggplant, or broccoli, make a flavorful and nutritious side dish that complements the peppers.
Antipasto Platter: Create an antipasto platter with an assortment of cured meats, cheeses, olives, pickles, and marinated vegetables for a more indulgent option.
Cauliflower Rice: For a low-carb option, consider serving cauliflower rice seasoned with herbs and spices. It’s a great way to round out the meal without additional carbs.
Caprese Salad: A Caprese salad with fresh mozzarella, tomatoes, basil, and a drizzle of balsamic glaze offers a light and tangy accompaniment.
Coleslaw: Creamy coleslaw provides a cool and creamy contrast to the warm stuffed peppers. Consider a vinegar-based coleslaw for a tangier option.
Fruit Salad: A refreshing fruit salad with a mix of seasonal fruits adds a touch of sweetness and balance to the meal.
Pasta Salad: A simple pasta salad with veggies, herbs, and a light dressing can be a satisfying and complementary side dish.
Soup: A light soup, such as tomato basil or minestrone, can be a comforting option to start the meal before enjoying the stuffed peppers.
Beverages: Pair your meal with beverages like sparkling water, iced tea, lemonade, or even a light red or white wine.
Dessert: For a sweet ending, consider offering a dessert like fruit skewers, mini cheesecakes, or a light fruit sorbet.
Pizza Stuffed Bell Peppers Recipe
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- 6 bell peppers
- 1 lb ground beef
- 1 cup marinara sauce
- 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
- 1 tablespoon Italian herbs
- 1 can diced tomatoes, preferably seasoned with Italian herbs
- 8 oz pepperoni, optional, to garnish
- 1 can sliced olives, drained, optional to garnish
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Wash peppers and cut in half, lengthwise. Remove inner membrane and seeds.
- In a large pan, brown ground beef and crumble as it cooks.
- When beef is ground and browned after about five minutes, stir in diced tomatoes and mix well.
- In a 9x13 casserole dish, spread out marinara sauce on the bottom.
- Add peppers in, opening side up.
- Fill peppers with beef and tomatoes, top with cheese and Italian herbs, pepperonis, and olives.
- Bake 20-25 minutes, until cheese is melted and bubbly.
- Serve and enjoy!
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Nutrition InformationYield 6 Serving Size 1
Amount Per Serving Calories 543Total Fat 37gSaturated Fat 15gTrans Fat 1gUnsaturated Fat 18gCholesterol 123mgSodium 1095mgCarbohydrates 15gFiber 3gSugar 7gProtein 36g
Nutrition is automatically calculated by Nutritionix - please verify all nutrition information independently and consult with a doctor or nutritionist for any and all medical and diet advice.